Stellantis, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, recently announced a partnership with EV infrastructure company Charge Enterprises in an effort to supercharge the automaker’s electrification plans.
On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Mark LaNeve, former General Motors, Ford and Volvo executive and president of Charge Enterprises. As one of the industry’s leaders, LaNeve is a firm believer in the strength of the dealership franchise system and continues to advocate heavily for supporting local retailers. In his current position, he hopes to accelerate the industry’s electrification efforts by equipping both dealers and manufacturers with the tools and technologies they need to spur EV adoption. Now, he discusses his company’s new partnership with Stellantis along with his insights into the electric vehicle segment.
1. Charge Enterprises is now one of the preferred EV charging solutions provider for Stellantis, giving dealers a partner they can trust in their efforts to prepare for electrification.
2. LaNeve believes the automotive industry will eventually be fully invested in electric vehicles, but the pace of this transformation depends on several factors. Limited driving ranges, unaffordable prices and lack of charging infrastructure remain the biggest obstacles to wider EV adoption.
3. LaNeve notes that Tesla, as the sole U.S. EV maker for multiple years, has already won over most of the early technology adopters, intensifying the uphill battle that legacy brands such as Ford and General Motors face in terms of electrification.
4. While LaNeve believes the government should be more involved in the automotive industry’s electric vehicle transition, he urges lawmakers to gain a better understanding of the market so they can offer more support rather than attempting to force consumer adoption.
5. Even if all vehicles purchased were electric, there would still be a massive population of ICE cars. However quickly electrification occurs, gas-powered models will continue to share the roads for decades to come.
6. Although Tesla has achieved incredible things selling directly to consumers, LaNeve believes the franchise system is still the best way to sell vehicles due to the connection between local retailers and their communities. Dealers and manufacturers will need to work closely together to accelerate electrification.
"In terms of demand, Tesla took a lot of oxygen out of the industry for a decade...So now it's gotta become a little more mainstream; that's the conversion that people are finding a little more difficult than they thought six months to a year ago." — Mark LaNeve